Juried Exhibitions

Exhibition in China

I am honored that a selection from my series, "The Unchosen Ones," was exhibited as part of the 2018 Yixian International Photography Festival in Anhui, China. Guo Jing curated the exhibition for international section at the festival, one of the most influential festivals in China. I met Guo Jing during a portfolio review at Photolucida 2017 in Portland and she exhibited "The Sheep and the Goats" in China last year as well. In addition to the Chinese photographers, there were over exhibitions from over 50 photographers from the United States, France, Russia, Australia, Italy, Egypt, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Singapore. The exhibition exhibited more than 3,200 works. View gallery >>

Photographs Courtesy Yixian International Photography Festival. Pictured left to right in group picture: Fang Huanran, Deputy President  of China Photo Press; Guo Jing, Host of Yixian International Photo Festival Opening Ceremony; Hu Ning, Vice chariman of the Political Consultative Conference of Huangshan City; Reza De Hadi, a French photographic artist; and Fang Huanran, Vice President of China Photographic Newspaper.

Review of 2018 Yixian International Photography Festival

MinnPost Feature

"The Minnesota State Fair’s Fine Arts Exhibition celebrates the art of the state" written by Pamela Espeland of MinnPost on August 29, 2018 >>

Writes Espeland: "The large, lovely portrait of a young woman and her goat may stop you in your tracks. It’s an image from a series Kern calls “The Unchosen Ones.” Taken from the sidelines at 10 county fairs across Minnesota that lead up to the state fair, they show animals and their young handlers – but losers, not winners. These are not the pairs that will go on to glory at the big fair in the cities. Photographed against a simple gray backdrop, the subjects – children and teenagers, sheep and goats – are lit like old masters. They are luminous and dignified. If this is what losing looks like, maybe it’s not so terrible after all."

R. J. Kern with “Kenzie and Hootie, Anoka County Fair, Minnesota, 2016”, MinnPost photo by John Whiting

R. J. Kern with “Kenzie and Hootie, Anoka County Fair, Minnesota, 2016”, MinnPost photo by John Whiting

“The Great State of Minnesota” Award

The Executive Director of the Minnesota Citizen's for the Arts (MCA), Sheila Smith, selected me for the “Great State of Minnesota” Award at the 2018 Fine Arts Exhibition held at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, MN opening this week. I'm honored and humbled. When we met, I shared with her my enthusiasm for the art grants in Minnesota which have generously supported my fine-art career. MCA was the first independent organization to give a cash award to artists at the Minnesota State Fair that "honors an artist depicting Minnesota subject matter in a highly skillful way." I'm proud to grow roots in this great state!


Renaissance Photography Prize 2017 (Finalist)

The Unchosen Ones project is a Finalist in the Renaissance Photography Prize 2017, juried by Clare Grafik, Dewi Lewis, Fiona Rogers, Fiona Shields, Gem Fletcher, Marloes Krijnen, Melissa DeWitt, and Simon Roberts and will be exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery, London, England then will travel in 2018 to the following venues:

January 27 – March 10, 2018 Aberystwyth Arts Centre, www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk
April 28 – June 9, 2018. The Civic, Barnsley, www.barnsleycivic.co.uk

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IPE Silver Award from the Royal Photographic Society

I’m honored my work from the series "The Unchosen Ones" garnered a Silver Award from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) International Photography Exhibition, now touring around the UK. I thank RPS for their support!

Four award winners were been selected from thousands of entries from across the world by the panel: Karin Bareman, Curatorial Project Manager for Autograph ABP;Zelda Cheatle curator, editor, lecturer and consultant in photography; Ingrid Pollard, photographer, media artist and researcher; and photographers and former IPE exhibitors Abbie Trayler-Smith and Sian Davey .

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Held since 1854, the RPS hosts the longest running exhibition of its kind. Pictured is the exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery, London as part of Photoblock, a collection of exhibitions celebrating the best in contemporary and traditional photography.

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The award-winning images will also be exhibited in a group show at theprintspace gallery, London, in 2018.

The FENCE 2017

For the second year in a row, I am honored to have work on The FENCE. 40 photographer's work was chosen by 68 jurors among thousands of entries from around the world. The FENCE is a traveling photography exhibition reaching over 4 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in 7 cities across the United States: Brooklyn, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Santa Fe, Durham, and Denver.

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Upon my visit to CLICK 120 in October 2017, I was able to connect with my friend Chris Ogden who brought The FENCE to Durham, NC.

The FENCE to Durham, NC photo by Chris Ogden

The FENCE to Durham, NC photo by Chris Ogden

The FENCE in Brooklyn, NY photo by Christopher Cook.

The FENCE in Brooklyn, NY photo by Christopher Cook.

The FENCE in Brooklyn, NY photo by Christopher Cook.

The FENCE in Brooklyn, NY photo by Christopher Cook.

Curated Exhibition at MoMa, Tbilisi, Georgia

In June 2017, my work was exhitibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Tbilisi, Georgia curated by Tina Schelhorn who I met at Photolucida '17. Also included in the show are fellow US photographers Carole Erb and Henry Hornstein.


The work was published in the July 2017 issue of the German magazine, FotoMagazin, with an article written by Ralf Hanselle, “Fine Art of the Fauna.”